In Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will be facing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton has faced criticism for his on-field celebrations. Is that criticism deserved? Or does it stem from the fact that Newton is African American? That's the first topic on this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know."
1. Cam Newton's Celebrations
Plenty of NFL players celebrate when they score a touchdown or make a big play. So why do some fans feel that the on-field dancing of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton crosses the line? Cindy Boren thinks the answer has to do with more than Newton's dance moves.
CB: You know, someone asked [Newton] how to keep him from doing touchdown dances, and he said, "Well, keep me out of the end zone." It's complete honesty. And, you know, there's sort of a racial component to this, but, more importantly, I think Ryan Clark from ESPN, the former NFL player, kind of hit it on the head when he said it was a real cultural thing. You know, this is a guy who embraces hip-hop, and I think people are a little freaked out by it, a little afraid of it.
2. NFL Ticket Resale Investigation
The NFL is reportedly being investigated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for antitrust violations over ticket resales. Under the current policy, NFL ticket resales should go through a league-approved Ticketmaster service. Tickets on that service cannot be sold for less than face-value, a so-called "price floor." Patrick Hruby says the policy is unfair for consumers.
PH: Now, these are tickets that you bought and, in theory, you should be able to sell them for whatever price you want. If there's not a lot of demand, maybe you sell them for really cheap. People are getting screwed, and the NFL is arguably propping up the value of its tickets. But, in a larger sense, I think we shouldn't be surprised by something like this, because taking advantage of rigged markets and monopoly power is kind of how the NFL — and a lot of other sports organizations — do business.
3. End All-Star Games?
Both the NFL Pro Bowl and the NHL All-Star games are set for this weekend...and it seems like some players are not looking forward to participating. This year more than half of the players originally invited to the Pro Bowl declined to go. Maybe for similar reasons, the NHL is saying it will suspend players who skip this year's All-Star Game. If players don't want to play, Bill Littlefield wonders: is it time to retire the tradition of All-Star games entirely?
BL: While we're at it, the baseball All-Star game has lost a lot of its appeal. It used to be great: you could see Willie Mays play against Mickey Mantle and you couldn't see the great American Leaguer play against the great National Leaguer anywhere else, but now we see it all summer long with interleague play. I think it's time to put these alleged attractions out of their misery.
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This segment aired on January 30, 2016.